Publications by authors named "Dirk B Hays"

9 Publications

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High-resolution spectral information enables phenotyping of leaf epicuticular wax in wheat.

Plant Methods 2021 Jun 7;17(1):58. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77840, USA.

Background: Epicuticular wax (EW) is the first line of defense in plants for protection against biotic and abiotic factors in the environment. In wheat, EW is associated with resilience to heat and drought stress, however, the current limitations on phenotyping EW restrict the integration of this secondary trait into wheat breeding pipelines. In this study we evaluated the use of light reflectance as a proxy for EW load and developed an efficient indirect method for the selection of genotypes with high EW density.

Results: Cuticular waxes affect the light that is reflected, absorbed and transmitted by plants. The narrow spectral regions statistically associated with EW overlap with bands linked to photosynthetic radiation (500 nm), carotenoid absorbance (400 nm) and water content (~ 900 nm) in plants. The narrow spectral indices developed predicted 65% (EWI-13) and 44% (EWI-1) of the variation in this trait utilizing single-leaf reflectance. However, the normalized difference indices EWI-4 and EWI-9 improved the phenotyping efficiency with canopy reflectance across all field experimental trials. Indirect selection for EW with EWI-4 and EWI-9 led to a selection efficiency of 70% compared to phenotyping with the chemical method. The regression model EWM-7 integrated eight narrow wavelengths and accurately predicted 71% of the variation in the EW load (mg·dm) with leaf reflectance, but under field conditions, a single-wavelength model consistently estimated EW with an average RMSE of 1.24 mg·dm utilizing ground and aerial canopy reflectance.

Conclusions: Overall, the indices EWI-1, EWI-13 and the model EWM-7 are reliable tools for indirect selection for EW based on leaf reflectance, and the indices EWI-4, EWI-9 and the model EWM-1 are reliable for selection based on canopy reflectance. However, further research is needed to define how the background effects and geometry of the canopy impact the accuracy of these phenotyping methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13007-021-00759-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8185930PMC
June 2021

Quantitative trait loci influencing days to flowering and plant height in cowpea, Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.

Mol Genet Genomics 2020 Sep 31;295(5):1187-1195. Epub 2020 May 31.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, 77843, USA.

Cowpea (Vigna unguiculate (L.) Walp.) is a worldwide important multifunctional legume crop for food grain, vegetable, fodder, and cover crop. Nevertheless, only limited research has been conducted on agronomic traits. Here, we report quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of the days to flowering (DTF) and plant height (PH) using a dense SNP linkage map recently developed from a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between Golden Eye Cream and IT98K-476-8. The population was phenotyped for DTF and PH through field and greenhouse trials under two environments. The QTLs controlling these traits were mapped using multiple-environment combined and individual trial phenotypic data. The combined data analysis identified one major QTL (qDTF9.1) for DTF, and one major QTL (qPH9.1) and a minor QTL (qPH4.1) for PH. qDTF9.1 and qPH9.1 were adjacent to each other on Chromosome 9 and each explained 29.3% and 29.5% of the phenotypic variation (PVE), respectively. The individual trial data analysis identified a minor QTL (qDTF2.1) on Chromosome 2 for DTF and two minor QTLs (qPH4.1 and qPH4.2) on Chromosome 4 for PH, while the major QTLs, qDTF9.1 and qPH9.1, were consistently identified in all trials conducted. Epistasis analysis revealed that qDTF9.1 interacted with one locus on Chromosome 4, contributed 50% of the PVE, and qPH9.1 interacted with one locus on each of Chromosomes 4 and 6, contributing 30% and 23% of the PVE, respectively, suggesting that epistasis plays an important role in the trait performance. These results, therefore, provide a deeper understanding of the genetic architecture of plant DTF and PH, and molecular tools necessary for cloning the genes and for enhanced cowpea breeding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00438-020-01680-yDOI Listing
September 2020

Ground penetrating radar: a case study for estimating root bulking rate in cassava ( Crantz).

Plant Methods 2017 7;13:65. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia.

Background: Understanding root traits is a necessary research front for selection of favorable genotypes or cultivation practices. Root and tuber crops having most of their economic potential stored below ground are favorable candidates for such studies. The ability to image and quantify subsurface root structure would allow breeders to classify root traits for rapid selection and allow agronomist the ability to derive effective cultivation practices. In spite of the huge role of Cassava ( Crantz), for food security and industrial uses, little progress has been made in understanding the onset and rate of the root-bulking process and the factors that influence it. The objective of this research was to determine the capability of ground penetrating radar (GPR) to predict root-bulking rates through the detection of total root biomass during its growth cycle. Our research provides the first application of GPR for detecting below ground biomass in cassava.

Results: Through an empirical study, linear regressions were derived to model cassava bulking rates. The linear equations derived suggest that GPR is a suitable measure of root biomass ( = .79). The regression analysis developed accounts for 63% of the variability in cassava biomass below ground. When modeling is performed at the variety level, it is evident that the variety models for SM 1219-9 and TMS 60444 outperform the HMC-1 variety model (r = .77, .63 and .51 respectively).

Conclusions: Using current modeling methods, it is possible to predict below ground biomass and estimate root bulking rates for selection of early root bulking in cassava. Results of this approach suggested that the general model was over predicting at early growth stages but became more precise in later root development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13007-017-0216-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5547497PMC
August 2017

Vegetative axillary bud dormancy induced by shade and defoliation signals in the grasses.

Plant Signal Behav 2010 Mar 7;5(3):317-9. Epub 2010 Mar 7.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA.

Vegetative axillary bud dormancy and outgrowth is regulated by several hormonal and environmental signals. In perennials, the dormancy induced by hormonal and environmental signals has been categorized as eco-, endo- or paradormancy. Over the past several decades para-dormancy has primarily been investigated in eudicot annuals. Recently, we initiated a study using the monoculm phyB mutant (phyB-1) and the freely branching near isogenic wild type (WT) sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) to identify molecular mechanisms and signaling pathways regulating dormancy and out-growth of axillary buds in the grasses. In a paper published in the January 2010 issue of Plant Cell and Environment, we reported the role of branching genes in the inhibition of bud outgrowth by phyB, shade and defoliation signals. Here we present a model that depicts the molecular mechanisms and pathways regulating axillary bud dormancy induced by shade and defoliation signals in the grasses.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2881289PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/psb.5.3.11186DOI Listing
March 2010

QTL mapping of a high protein digestibility trait in Sorghum bicolor.

Int J Plant Genomics 2009 7;2009:471853. Epub 2009 Jul 7.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Institute for Plant Genomics & Biotechnology, Texas A&M University, College Station, 77843, USA.

Compared with other cereal grains, Sorghum bicolor shows lower protein digestibility. The low digestibility is thought to result from disulfide cross linking in the beta- and gamma-kafirins. In contrast, the single recessive high digestibility/high lysine content (HD) mutation which confers greater grain digestibility exists in sorghum that is thought to result from reduced accumulation of gamma-kafirin that allows greater access to the high digestible alpha-kafarin fraction. In an effort to both clearly define the molecular basis for the HD trait and develop tools to improve the introgression of this difficult-to-screen trait, this study focuses on mapping the QTLs linked to this trait. While the HD trait has been defined as a single recessive gene, our results uncovered that two major QTLs on chromosome 1 are associated with protein digestibility-one QTL (locus 1 from the HD parent) unfavorably affects digestibility and one QTL (locus 2 from the HD parent) only 20 cM away favorably affects digestibility. A contrast analysis between genotypic groups at these two loci shows that a higher level of protein digestibility may be obtained when this linkage in repulsion is broken and favorable alleles are allowed to recombine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2009/471853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2709723PMC
November 2012

Functionality of gliadin proteins in wheat flour tortillas.

J Agric Food Chem 2009 Feb;57(4):1600-5

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, USA.

Gliadins are monomeric proteins that are encoded by the genes at the loci Gli 1 and Gli 2 present on the short arm of homologous wheat chromosomes 1 and 6, respectively. Studies have suggested that gliadins may play an important role in determining the functional properties of wheat flour. The main objective of this study was to understand the functionality of gliadins with respect to tortilla quality. The important tortilla quality attributes are diameter, opacity, and shelf stability, designated here as rollability or the ability to roll or fold the tortilla without cracking. In this study gliadin functionality in tortilla quality was studied using near-isogenic wheat lines that have deletions in either Gli A1, Gli D1, Gli A2, or Gli D2 gliadin loci. The deletion lines are designated by the same abbreviations. Dough and tortillas were prepared from the parent line used to derive these deletion lines, each individual deletion line, and a control commercial tortilla flour. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations were performed on the dough and tortillas derived from the flour from each of these lines. None of the deletions in the gliadin loci altered the shelf stability versus that found for the parent to the deletion lines or control tortilla flour. However, deletions in the Gli 2 loci, in particular Gli A2 reduced the relative proportion of alpha- and beta-gliadins with a greater cysteine amino acid content and gluten cross-link function versus the chain-terminating omega-gliadins in Gli 1, which were still present. As such, the dough and gluten matrix appeared to have greater extensibility, which improved the diameter and overall quality of the tortillas while not altering the rollability. Deletions in the Gli 1 loci had the opposite result with increased cross-linking of alpha- and beta-gliadins, polymeric protein content, and a stronger dough that decreased the diameter and overall quality of the tortillas. The data suggest that altering certain Gli 2 loci through null alleles could be a viable strategy to develop cultivars improved for the specific functionality requirements needed for the rapidly growing tortilla market.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf802105eDOI Listing
February 2009

Use of near-isogenic wheat lines to determine the glutenin composition and functionality requirements for flour tortillas.

J Agric Food Chem 2008 Jan 12;56(1):179-84. Epub 2007 Dec 12.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

In wheat ( Triticum aestivum L), the synthesis of high molecular weight (HMW) glutenins (GS) is controlled by three heterologous genetic loci present on the long arms of group 1 wheat chromosomes. The loci Glu-A1, Glu-B1, and Glu-D1 and their allelic variants play important roles in the functional properties of wheat flour. This study focused on understanding the functionality of these protein subunits on tortilla quality. Near-isogenic wheat lines in which one or more of these loci were absent or deleted were used. Tortillas were prepared from each deletion line and the parent lines. The elimination of certain HMW-GS alleles alter distinct but critical aspects of tortilla quality such as diameter, shelf stability, and overall quality. Two deletion lines possessing HMW-GS 17 + 18 at Glu-B1 and deletions in Glu-A1 and Glu-D1 had significantly larger tortilla diameters, yet tortilla shelf life was compromised or unchanged from the parent lines used to develop the deletion lines or the commercial tortilla flour used as a control. Alternatively, a deletion line possessing Glu-A1 and Glu-D1 (HMW-GS 1, 5 + 10) and a deletion in Glu-B1 also significantly improved tortilla diameters. Whereas the increase in diameter was less than the line possessing only HMW-GS 17 + 18 at Glu-B1, the stability of the tortillas were, however, maintained and improved as compared to the parent lines containing a full compliment of HMW-GS. Thus, the presence of subunits 5 + 10 at Glu-D1 alone or in combination with subunit 1 at Glu-A1 appears to provide a compromise of improvement in dough extensibility for improved tortilla diameters while also providing sufficient gluten strength to maintain ideal shelf stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf071831sDOI Listing
January 2008

phyB-1 sorghum maintains responsiveness to simulated shade, irradiance and red light: far-red light.

Plant Cell Environ 2007 Aug;30(8):952-62

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2474, USA.

The sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench] phyB-1 mutant exhibits a constitutive shade-avoidance phenotype including excessive shoot elongation. It was previously shown that this mutant also overproduces ethylene. Although phytochrome B (phyB) is assumed to be the pigment most important in sensing and transducing shade signals, the sorghum phyB-1 mutant still responds to light signals characteristic of shade. Specifically, it was determined that the leaf blade : leaf sheath elongation of phyB-1 is responsive to red : far red (R : FR), but this response is opposite that of wild type (WT). Reducing the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) strongly reduced the leaf blade : leaf sheath of WT but did not affect phyB-1, demonstrating a role for phyB in sensing PPFD. Using light-emitting diode (LED) lighting, it was found that WT ethylene production was increased with low R : FR while PPFD had no effect. Conversely, phyB-1 ethylene production increased only with high PPFD, high R : FR which was the treatment resulting in the least ethylene production by WT. Elevated ethylene production inhibits shoot elongation, but may contribute to shade avoidance by reducing leaf blade : leaf sheath elongation. Ethylene responses to light treatments designed to promote or reduce phytochrome A (phyA) activity, and the analysis of PHYA levels in the two cultivars suggests that phyA could be involved in transducing shade signals in light-grown sorghum. Responses potentially tranduced by phyA are elevated in phyB-1 which also over-expresses PHYA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3040.2007.01695.xDOI Listing
August 2007

The role of gibberellins in embryo axis development.

J Exp Bot 2002 Aug;53(375):1747-51

Plant Physiology Research Group, Department of Biological Sciences, 2500 University Drive NW, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N IN4.

The role of gibberellins (GAs) during early embryo development was examined using microspore-derived embryos (MDEs) of Brassica napus. At the globular stage of development, 10 d after initial culture (DAC) when endogenous GA(1) levels are increasing rapidly, a triazole, uniconazole, was used at 1, 33 and 100 microM to inhibit GA biosynthesis. Within this dose range there was no apparent effect of the inhibitor on embryo growth through to the early torpedo stage. However, by 25 DAC uniconazole-treated MDEs showed significantly reduced (50%) axis elongation. Addition of GA(1) at 33 microM on 14 DAC to embryos pretreated with 1 microM uniconazole on 10 DAC prevented this reduction in axis length, giving axis elongation equivalent to untreated MDEs. Application of GA(1) alone, however, did not significantly increase axis elongation. The reduced axis growth seen with uniconazole treatment was due to reduced cell elongation, but not cell number, and the co-applied GA(1) thus prevented the uniconazole-induced reduction in cell length. The elongating axis of MDEs may thus be a useful tool for examining the role of GAs in cell elongation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jxb/erf017DOI Listing
August 2002
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